Wednesday, April 28, 2010

#99 Avoir de Ennui

I was on Facebook today reading a post by a fellow blogger. Lynn has lost 168 pounds, has maintained that weight for 3 years, has shared her journey on Oprah, CNNs Fit Nation, is a member of the Joy Fit Club on The Today show, and is working on a book. I follow her blog to keep inspired and to learn. In her Facebook post, she shared that she was in one of those "I could eat everything and anything" mood, and then posed the question, "What makes you feel this way?" One of her "friends" responded that she feels that way when she is unfocused. I loved that explanation.

Many times I find myself shopping in my pantry, fridge and freezer for something to eat, but have trouble finding "that" something because truly, I'm not hungry. Same goes for those times when I start to eat a few cookies, find no satisfaction, and then start in on something else hoping that whatever I'm eating will take care of how I'm feeling. More times than not, I'm not sad or angry or lonely or happy or bored or..... I'm just unfocused. Many weight programs and books recommend that when you feel a binge coming on or a desire to eat for emotional reasons, you should stop and hone in on how you are feeling. They say write it down then and there and perhaps [hopefully] the feeling will pass and so will this 'unfocused' desire. I've tried this, but again, more times than not, I couldn't figure out how I was feeling.

In high school I took French as my foreign language. While reading a book in class one day, I came across this verse, avoir de ennui. I knew ennui was defined as boredom, humdrum and tedium, but when I looked up this verse in the French dictionary, boredom turned to "I have problems". So, since high school, when I find myself eating when I'm not hungry or eating a whole box or bag of something, I tell myself that I am "having ennui" and try to figure out what the "problem" is.

Do I still have my ennui moments? Mais, bien sur [but ,of course]! However, they are fewer and much farther apart. Actually, I can't remember the last time I felt that way. While I still have thoughts of wanting M&M's at the movies or ordering an ice cream cone and wishing it was more like a waffle cone with all the trimmings, I haven't given into them. And this is why - it's not healthy. Once I stopped denying myself food because it was on the "do not eat" list, and changed my thought process to it's not on the healthy list, I was able to make sense of it. Also, I think one begins to feel this way with maturity and age. Of course there are those youngsters [right now that's anyone under 40] who eat in a mostly healthy manner without thinking twice; I still sometimes have to think thrice.

Alas, because youngsters don't always see the advantage of eating healthy now for a healthy later, they need to be taught. I'm not sure Michelle Obama's healthy no-chocolate-Easter-egg-hunt will change the way kids eat, however, I am so happy that someone with a voice that carries weight and carries far, has taken on this very important healthcare challenge. We need to teach our youth that putting unhealthy foods into our bodies does unhealthy things to our bodies.

I think this should be the message: Staying up late for special occasions is a treat and doesn't hurt you in the long run - the same goes with having a bag of M&Ms or a double scoop ice cream cone. I believe that if you reach a child early enough with this message, it just may stick.

Quote of the Day: Seize the Day! Every Exit is also an Entrance.... [copied from a Facebook post]

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I think kids these days are much more aware of what healthy eating is, but I think they also have much more of the unhealthy choices available on a regular basis. I also think learning what is healthy to eat is easier than learning how to deal with those "ennui moments". I guess what I'm saying is that it takes both intellectual and emotional learning.